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Category Archives: Detective Fiction

Karel Capek — Not in De Waal

Occasionally something crosses my desk which really impresses me, and I think, why didn’t I know about this long before now. Karel Capek is a Czechoslovakian scholar who pubished a book title “In Praise of Newspapers” in 1924 It was translated into English by M. and R. Weatherall. In particular Chapter 11 titled “Holmesiana, or About Detective Stories.” Professor Capek trashes all the detective fiction writers of his genre, but read it for yourself by clicking on the link below!

About Detective Stories

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Lost Treasures from the Pulps in 2011

There are many projects underway, and many have been delayed because of the amount of effort involved in Arkham House projects. I get many inquiries about these projects, and each one of them requires an explanation which is time consuming, and so this post should address all questions simultaneously. I can also update it as time goes by. Many of these projects are far advanced, and on the verge of going to press.

The Compleat Adventures of Luther McGavock and Others

 by Merle Constiner. Page count not fixed. Hard Cover Folio 462+pp. ISBN 978-1-55246-794-7 @ $75.00

This is a project that has been on the list for almost six years now. There is one earlier collection of Constiner featuring the Adventures of “The Dean.” There are a total of 12 stories in Black Mask and 11 that feature Luther McGavock. These stories will be published with the permission of Keith Alan Deutsch. When compiled this was a slim volume, and so a decision was taken to include Constiner tales from other Pulpmagazines and amend the title accordingly. I am still looking for a couple of these additional stories, and the remainder are now included and with the proof reader. The volume is now substantial and I can only say the delay will eventually well reward the reader’s wait. All the illustrations and covers that accompany the stories have been scanned. The Dustjacker is approved.

The Compleat Adventures of the Suicide Squad

by Emile Tepperman. Hard Cover Folio 400+ pp. ISBN 978-1-55246-752-7 @ $75.00.

This volume collectes the 23 stories, some serialized in Ace G-Man Stories. The text is complete and proof read. All the illustrations and covers that accompany the stories have been scanned. The Dustjacker is approved. The delay has been the integration of the text and illustrations; and simply requires a weekend’s work when there is nothing more pressing to do. Perhaps it will get done in March, in Florida?

The Tong of Terror: The Adventures of Jimmy Wentworth

by Sidney Herschel Small. Hard Cover 400+ pp. ISBN 978-1-55246-775-6 @ $75.00

This volumes collects 30 stories featuring Jimmy Wentworth, a police officer born in China who battles the Chinese Tongs in San Farancisco. Some stories are serialized and there are a total of 75 pulps episodes in the series. The text is complete and the illustrations are scanned and ready for integration. The volume has been proof read. The dustjacket has been designed. I note that I still have to apply for a CIP data, and this will follow shortly. The project still requires a couple more weekenda, with nothing else on deck.

The Compleat Adventures of Donald Everhard

by Gordon Young, with an Introduction by Richard Bleiler. HC 2V 1012 pp. ISBN 978-1-55246-784-8 @ $150.00

This set of two volumes was originally suggested by Richard Bleiler, and has received significant contributions from many sources. The last page of the last story arrived in February 2011. All but one story appeared in Adventure Magazine. All the stories are scanned and appear chronologically by date of publication. There are two covers which will be used on the Dust Jacket. This will be a 2 volume collection with alot of content — 957,500 words actually. There are 27 stories, many are serialzied with 6 parts.

The Compleat Zambra the Detective

by Headon Hill with an Introduction by Bob Adey) Hard Cover Folio 500+ pp. ISBN 978-1-55246-626-1 @ $75.00

This series was suggested by Bob Adey, and he has provided all the content from obscure British magazines from the beginning of the 20th century. Some short stories, and Novellas and at least one Novel. The text has been scnned, but needs another proof reading. (I am an imperfect proof reader, as well as an imperfect webmaster.) The work contines, and this project is unlikely to appear in 2011, but we will try.

Strange Ocean Vistas of Philip M. Fisher

Philip M. Fisher, with an Introduction by Rodney Schroeder, and comprehensive commentary byGary G. Garner. Hard Cover Folio 500pp. ISBN 978-1-55246-530-1 @ $90.00

This project commenced back in 1998 at the suggestion of Gary Garner. The dustjacket has been completed, and features a great oil painting of a Zeppelin. Completing this project is currently not in my hands to do, but I am optimistic that work will proceed again shortly. The project so far received has been proof read.

The Satan Hall Omnibus

by John Carroll Daly. Hard Cover 482+ pp. ISBN 978-1-55246-754-1 @ $90.00

This volume collects 24 stories from Detective Fiction Weekly (some serials) and 2 stories from Black Mask. A couple of the tales proofed to be very elusive, but all are now scanned and proof read. There are many pulp covers to include on the Dust Jacket. All the internal illustrations are scanned and need to be integrated into the text. (437.000 words)

Mr. Chang and Rafferty

by E.A. Apple, writing as A.E. Apple. Hard Cover Folio 4 Volumes ISBN 978-1-55246-829-6 @ $350.00

This project collects all the adventures of Mr. Chang (2-1/2 volumes) and Mr. Rafferty (1-1/2 volumes). The text has now been assembled, and the proof reading is almost complete. There are many pulp covers to include from Detective Story Magazine. The author’s family still lives in Canada, and is looking forward to the publication with enthusiasm. Mr. Chang is Canada’s version of Fu Manchu; and Rafferty is Apple’s incarnation of Raffles. There are a total of 1,286,735 words.

Introducing Mr. Chang . . . 

by E.A. Apple. TPB 290 pp. ISBN 978-1-55246-943-9 @ $28.00

This is a small volume, designed as an introudction to the four volume set above. It features novelized, expnaded version of two of the stories contained in the project above, namey Mr. Chang and Scotland Yard and Mr. Chang’s Crime Ray. The book is set up like an Ace Double with the back story inverted and essentially two cover pages and one ISBN

The Otis Adelbert Kline Omnibus

by Otis adelber Kline 2 perhaps 3 Volumes ISBN 978-1-55246-834-0 @ $price not set

This is another very ambitious project which has been stalled. I set the project aside altogether when I was unable to reach I felt was a reasonable agreement with Kline’s estate representative. Since the author passed away in 1996. It is my clear understanding that alll his published writing is out-of-copyright in Canada in 1997. I shall proceed on this understanding without the involvement of the estate. The problem is to find the time, and in the meantime an excellent project languishes in my In-Basket. I would estimate that is over 50% acomplete, and needs another proof reading.

The Adventures of Philip Strange

by Donald H. Kehoe. 4 Volumes ISBN 978-1-55246-837-1 @ $300.00

This is another huge project which is now essentially complete. There are a total of 64 stories, all contained in a single isse. One story proved elusive, but is now scanned and all of them have been proof read. The final step is scanning the illustrations which is problematic since most all the first page illos scan two pages. The pulp covers are all interesting but bear little revelance to the covers. This is but one character series contain in Flying Aces by Kehoe, but it is the one he is most remembered for. The set of 4 DJ’s has been designed and they are ready to fly. There are a total of 1,110,561 words

An Adventure Trilogy

by Arthur Douglas Howden Smith 3 vol. Set ISBN 978-1-55246-817-3 @ $60.00

This project contains 3 prequel novels which were serialized in Adventure Magazine to Treasure Island. They are; The Doom Trail Beyond the Sunset and Porto Bello Gold. Treasure Island is my childhood favourite, so to learn how the gold got there in the first place is de rigeur. The books have been scanned and partially proof read. Still looking for some original Dustjackets for the book editions to illustrate. This book will not be published in 2011.

The Yellow Menace

by Louis Tracyand introduced by John D. Squires, Trade Paperback 221pp. ISBN 978-1-55246-872-2 @ $30.00.

This is a pet project of John Squires and I started to work with him in 2003. It is a novel which was originally serialized in the newspapers, and was syndicated to accompany the appearance of the silent movie which is now lost in the sands of time, although many photos still remain. It is presently with the proof reader, and I must integrate the photos, taken from a French translation into the reconstructed text. There are 80,000 words and an excellent commentary with much additional ephemeral illustated material collected by Squires.

The Schemes of Dr. Nikola

by Guy Boothby, with an introduction by Rick Lai and Aislise Bulfin. HC 400+pp. ISBN 978-1-55246-883-8 @ $75.00

This is a collection of five novels featuring a Moriarty type villain-hero.  The five are: A Bid for Fortune — Doctor Nikola Returns — The Lust of Hate — Dr. Nikola’s Experiment — Farewell, Nikola. I am still waiting for the original magazine illustration to accompany the text. Aislise is assembling them in Ireland. Otherwise the project is ready to go, but could use another proof reading. There are 380,147 in the project.

The Compleat Adventures of Robert Lauriston Jones and Others 

by Charles B. Stilson,  Hard Cover 504 pp. ISBN 978-1-55246-885-2 @ $60.00

This project was originally suggested by Kevin Cook, and scanned by Brian Earl Jones of Detroit. It consists of two serialized novels from the pages of All-Star WeeklyA Man Named Jones and Land of the Shadow People as well as 8 unrelated short stories. The project is complete, and the dustjacket is presently being created by Patricia Visneskie. It will be a big book and contains 200, 000 words.

The Compleat Adventures of Gillian Hazeltine

by George F. Worts, Hard Cover Folio, 3 Volume 1000+pp. ISBN 978-1-55246-916-3 @ Price not set as yet

This is an ambitious project, by the author of an earlier lost treasure — Peter the Brazen. It collects 25 Novels, Novellas and Short stories. It collects the adventures of a lawyer who always wins his seemingly hopeless cases and drives the District Attorney mad in the process. The stories originally appeared in Argosy Magazine, and they were difficult but not impossible to assemble with the help of Randy Vanderbeek who has a lengendary collection of pulp magazines. There are 858, 399. The project has been proof read, but the illustrations must all be scanned and integrated. There are many pulp covers to select for the Dustjackets.

The Illusions of Norgil The Magician

by Walter Gibson. Hard cover 500pp. ISBN 978-1-55246-921-7 @ Price not set as yet.

Norgil is a Magician Detective who solves 23 cases in this collection. The stories first appeared in Crime-Busters and Mystery Magazine. They are still under copyright, and I have to track down the Walter Gibson estate representative. 2/3 of the stories were collected by Otto Penzler when the author was still alive, but volume 3 never appeared.

The Adventurers: The Wings of Danger

by Arthur A. Nelson,  HC 400pp. ISBN 978-1-55246-889-0.

this project was originally suggested by Kevin Cook, and I’m still waiting for the photocopies to scan. The story has already been published as an inexpensive trade paperback, and may well be abnadoned altogether. This happens.

The Nictzin Dyalhis Portfolio

by Nictzin Dyalhis.  Hard Cover 350pp. ISBN 978-1-55246-887-6 @ Price not set as yet

This volume collects the serialized novels from Weird Tales and short fiction from elsewhere. I am still looking for one story — “The Whirling Machete” from Underworld. I always appreciate help! the rest is scnned but could use another proof reading.

Inspector West Goes to War

by John Creasey, introduced by Francis M. Nevins. Hard Cover Folio 500+pp. ISBN 978-1-55246-946-0 @ $75.00

This volume collects all five Inspector West Novels that Creasey wrote during WWII. They are elusive now, and I obtained all five copies on loan from the collection of Robert Briney. The five novels are: Inspector West Takes Charge — Inspector West Leaves Town — Inspector West at Home — Inspector West Regrets — Holiday for Inspector West. The cover illustrations were made to order by Laurie Fraser Manifold, and are delightful. Mike Nevins introduction is comprehensive and compelling. There are 409,270 words to digest.

The Crime Magnet

by Sax Rohmer, with an introduction by Gene Christie, and an essay by John Robert Colombo) Trade Paperback 221+pp. ISBN 978-1-55246-950-7 @ $30.00

This is an uncollected series of stories that appeared in This Week. They are now out-of copyright in Canada, NOT in the USA. The magazine is elusive, and copies were obtained from The Library of Congress microfilm. The magazine is oversized and difficult if not impossible to scan. The stories are being transcribed by JRC; and Larry Knapp has agreed to supply as many of the original illustrations as possible. This is indeed a work in progress. Stay tuned.

The Compleat “Needle Mike” 

by William E. Barrett.  Hard Cover 400+ pp. ISBN 978-1-55246-949-1 @ $60.00

This is a series of 16 short stories from the pages of Dime Detective, featuring a detective who crated tattooes. I obtained all the pulps from Randy Vanderbeek, and they are scanned and in the pile to go to Florida for layout and proofing in March 2011.

 

Musing on Bookmarks and Bookplates

It has always been a source of irritation for me, that large retailers of books, purchase large quantities of books, undercut your established retail price, and then request return privileges for the unsold books in 180 days for full credit, that is if they have actually paid for them. Frequently they have not paid in the first place. Is it any wonder then that I have declined the opportunity of enjoying their business in the past. Imagine my surprise and displeasure then when I learned that a large US retailer of books was advertising on line the opportunity of pre-ordering a book that I had just approved to go to press not 24 hours before — at a substantial discount which also included shipping. I imagine, but do not know, it was on the basis of a starred review that had appeared in Publishers Weekly. With the basic premise that all resellers have to be treated the same — what to do? Well there is a tipped in page signed by the author or the illustrator. There’s a limited edition bookplate and or perhaps a creative bookmark. I decided on the latter two, and here is the result of my musing. The two interpretive paintings of Lovecraft and Conan Doyle are by Victor Molev. The Lovecraft will also be used on a cover of a volume of Poetry that August Derleth originally compiled in 1947 entitled Dark of the Moon in 2013; The Conan Doyle will also be used on a package cover for an electronic edition of an ACD Bibliography originally compiled in 1981 by Richard Lancelyn GReen and John Michael Gibson, and revised and updated by Philip Bergem. This project is in the final stage, and shold appear early in 2011.

Arkham House Bookmarks

BSI Bookplate 6 — Trade Edition

 

How did you meet August Derleth?

I’ll met everyone who reads this entry will have their own answer to this question. I first encountered his writing in the lobby of the Algonquin Hotel back in January 1991 at around 6:00 p.m. on a Thursday during the BSI weekend. I was standing in a group listening in on the conversation, trying desperately to learn Dr. Watson’s middle name? How many wives he actually had? Whether a goose really does have a crop? and What Sherlock Hoolmes actually did when he visited Tibet during the Great Hiatus.

David Galerstein, engaged me in conversation, and invited me to go for dinner later that evening. He asked me if I had ever read a Solar Pons story? I replied no; and he then recommended them to me. They were written by a fellow in Wisconsin, by the name of August Derleth. I visited Otto Penzler’s bookshop the next day for the first time, and purchased the two volume slip-cased, shrink-wrapped edition of “The Solar Pons Omnibus” along with some other Sherlockian items including a reading copy of the three volume Heritage Club edition of the Canon. Now that’s my story and I am sticking to it!

But I suspect I am not in the majority, far from it. I suspect the majority of Derleth’s readers today are either fans of H.P. Lovecraft; readers of his “Sac Prairie Saga” including fiction, poetry and journals; readers of the anthologies he compiled in Science Fictionand the Macabre; or encountered one of his columns in the newspaper; read one of his many book reviews; or read his many short stories in Weird Tales; or his fiction in Redbook Magazine; or one of his biographies about Zona Gale, or Emerson or Thoreau; or one of juvenile volumes as a child.

Like a diamond, August Derleth had many facets as a writer, that I have only discovered after I followed up on the advise of David Galerstein. When David was going through his collection many years later to divest himself of stuff preparing to meet Sherlock under the Reichenbach, he sent me the original PSI pin that he had received from Luther Norris, as a token of his esteem. I shall always treasure it, and wear it with pride.

 

High Water Marks in Canonical Illustrations

If you are not an afficiando of Sherlock Holmes stop reading this blog entry right now! If you are and you have a shelf of books allegedly penned by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle you will already know of Sidney Paget. But did you know that his brother Walter illustrated one of the stories. You will know of the work of Frederic Dorr Steele who created his Sherlock as a William Gillette look-alive and all these originals — if they survived the sands of time — are highly prized by their owners, and sell for very high prices at auction. There is no point in illustrating them again here, the majority are well known to us all. A definitive study of the engraver’s signatures is yet to be done, and this is a project that Richard Lancelyn Green and I discussed back in 2001; perhaps his notes still reside in a file in the Portsmouth Library archives?

Another complete set of 64  illustrations (2 for each of the 4 novels) was created by George and Betty Wells. The originals were numbered and given out as quiz prizes at meetings. I used the set to illustrate the pages of The Universal Sherlock Holmes back in 1994, and have seen a couple, not many in collections in the interim. I have seen a couple of sale by dealers, and the originals are very collectiable as well. In fact, if the truth be told, Sherlockians collect everything as the 24, 807 entries in USH will tell you. ZHere’s a couple to wet your appetite.

 

A Partridge in a “Punch”

… not in a pear tree … and not in December but rather on May 12, 1926 in Punch Magazine.

In an earlier  blog I referred to “Patrick” not Partridge, so I must find that and emend the entry according! I well remember the first time I saw this caricature of “Punch Personalities” — Cameron Hollyer showed it to me on the 5th floor of the Toronto Refernce Library in the Conan Doyle room in 1991. The caricature nicely captured what we had been discussing at the time — the character outgrowing the creator. I thought of it once again leaving the theatre after “Sherlock Holmes” on January1st, 2010.

Back in 2005, I was invited to attend a book club meeting of the Quadrangle Society at Massey College. It was held in the library lined on three walls with bookshelves, and windows on the fourth. The shelves were repleat with books by Canadian authors and other Canadiana volumes. Not a single Sherlock Holmes, Conan Doyle title in the lot. Of course I might have missed one or two, but I don’t think so. On one wall was a bound run of Punch magazine from the late 1800’s through the 1930’s. I had fun finding this caricature because I did not remember the exact date of publication, but had confidence it was there. Even with the index the caricature eluded me for a while!

The though has now crossed my mind how many other Sherlock Holmes related items can be found between the covers of that bound run of Punch? Well a quick electronic search of the e-USH (Universal Sherlock Holmes by Ronald Burt DeWaal) just might cast some light on that question, and that’s the subject of a future blog.

 

Mr. Chang and Mr. Rafferty

E.A. Apple created these two characters to run in the pages of Detective Story Magazine (1919-1931) and reprinted in Best Detective Magazine (1933-1936). Mr. Chang is a Fu Man Chu equivalent; Mr. Rafferty is a Raffles equivalent. Mr. Chang has his headquarters in Montreal with a secret entrance, and travels in Eastern Canada to find his victims and accumulate his stolen fortunes in Quebec. Mr. Rafferty has his submarine-only accessible headquarters on an island off the east coast of America. His headquarters is a repository of vast amount of stolen wealth — cash, gold, precious gems and art. I have been gathering these stories together for the past 4 years with the able assistance of the members of the Sacred Six. I even received 3 stories and covers from Norway late last year; these had previously eluded me. Chang and Rafferty clash with lethal methods and wits in a couple of the stories with no definitive outcome, and certainly no Reichenbach Falls. The entire batch is now off to the proof reader, and the series of covers, including the reprints is off to Pat who will design the Dustjackets for the four folio sized volumes each with >400 pages double column format. After all there is 1.3 million words to deal with. You can find a complete bibliography at my web site, and the proposed covers to be retouched on the DJs. I will not supply the link, othereise WordPress will capture the entire series of covers listed there, and that’s alot of Megs to duplicate.

The son (Barny), the granddaughter (Heather) and grandson (Derek) of the author will contribute an introduction based on their memoris of the author, and the entire collection should add a significant brick in the Canadian Pulps Fiction story, since Elmer Albert Apple (not A. E. Apple, that was his pen name, and he also had others) was a Canadian who lived in Toronto.

And so the beat goes on! A dinner tonight with a special Coeliac Disease compatible cake to consume. Dim-Sum in the morning with a poet who spells his words the way they sound without capital letters. Dinner tomorrow night with an author celebrating his 88th birthday with friends, and he will have a new book to contemplate, and all his friends there to ask him to inscribe their copy, and finally a return Monday to the view of the windswept frozen lake, and the fireplace where I am methodically sorting and burning my friend Bill’s papers.